FAQ

Where are the courses/workshops run?

The majority of our courses are run at the Bush Lore Survival School in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland region of South-East Queensland approximately an hour and a half driving time north of Brisbane. This setting is characterised by abundant wildlife, the Blackall Mountain Range, areas of remnant sub-tropical rain forest and eucalypt woodlands punctuated by flowing creeks and the Mary River.

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What airport is closest to the South-East Queensland venues?

The closest major airport is the Maroochydore Airport on the Sunshine Coast however most people prefer to arrive via Brisbane Airport if travelling to the course by air. There are a number of ways to travel from the airport to one of the major towns in the area. Please ask us about travel options when booking your course and we’ll be able to assist.

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How do I get to the South-East Queensland venues by road?

Specific directions to the pick-up/ car park point for each course event will be provided to you on registration. Needless to say, the majority of our locations are a pleasant hour and a half’s drive from Brisbane and most people prefer to arrive via the township of Maleny. From Maleny it is a short drive down the western side of the escarpment along Maleny-Kenilworth Road.

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What car parking arrangements are in place?

Car parking is available in the area of the venues but not at the venues themselves. You will be advised of parking locations for individual courses and activities at the time of registration. This is a deliberate design factor that ensures participants remain fully focussed on the activities and in the case of survival courses reinforces the sense of isolation. This is an important learning outcome of the training. There are staff vehicles maintained on site for safety and general operations at all times during course periods. Please do not leave valuables in cars parked at the pick up point, as Bush Lore Australia accepts no liability for the loss or damage of personal items when private vehicles are parked on any venue.

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Is there any other public transport available to get me to the course venues?

To arrive by public transport at the designated meeting spot for the School you can catch the train from Brisbane to the Landsborough station where we can arrange to have you picked up. The first train in to Landsborough from Brisbane arrives at around 7:15 AM and it the one you will need to be on in order to be picked up.  Please advise staff during the registration process if you are considering this mode of transport to the course. There is also a local Taxi service that you can take advantage of to get you to the venue.

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Where can I stay before or after the course?

There are plenty of accommodation options available in the area and many other places to see and explore including the Conondale National Park either before or after your course/workshop. If intending to arrive early or stay longer feel free to ask us for our recommendations on places to stay and things to do.

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What kind of weather can I expect?

Most of our courses are run in the Blackall Range area of South-East Queensland, which has a sub-tropical climate. The temperature fluctuations between the summer and winter months are mild with temperatures being generally comfortable all year round. Average Summer Temperatures: In January (Summer), the temperatures average around 28°C (82°F).Average Winter Temperatures: In July (Winter), the temperatures averages around 20°C (68°F). Please be aware that temperatures in the Blackall Range can be 2-3 degrees cooler than those on the coast. The region does experience significant rainfall, occasional flooding and has periods of high humidity. We also experience heavy fog given the elevation of the region, which averages 500 metres above sea level.

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What kind of accommodation is available during the courses?

Accommodation options will vary depending on the type of activity you are involved in. During survival courses you will be living in the emergency shelters you construct during the course. For other activities you are welcome to bring your own tent, hammock or swag.

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What kinds of amenities are available at the course venues?

There are no shower facilities available at the Tracker Camp where the majority of courses are conducted.  This is a deliberate limitation to increase the sense of reality and challenge fostered during activities.  Portable toilet amenities are provided at the campsites. These are very basic but private. It is an important learning outcome to understand how to maintain hygiene and health under field conditions. Campfire cooking facilities are provided and  are used under group arrangements. We regard this as an important aspect of camp discipline and group dynamics during all of our activities. Other camp amenities such as buckets and utensils are provided for your use during the course.

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Can I use my mobile phone while on a course or participating in activities?

There is some telephone coverage available at most areas of the venues used for courses and activities.  All instructors carry mobile phones for safety reasons however; we discourage course participants from taking calls while participating on the courses. This is to enhance the sense of isolation and immersion in the bush and ensure that both yours and your fellow participant’s nature experience is not disturbed in anyway. If you are required to be in constant telephone contact for some reason please advise the staff prior to arriving at the pick up point. If using your phone as a camera or to take notes then that is fine.

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Should I bring food, is any provided?

Please bring your own food when attending courses and activities. We suggest you bring food that you can carry with you and cook on a camp fire or camp stove. During survival courses you will be encouraged to attempt some level of fasting in order to gain the most learning benefit from the activity.

If you are attending a survival course with your children please bring sufficient food for them as young people generally don’t benefit from a lack of food for any duration.

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Will I get hungry on the survival course?

Yes, you will get hungry during the survival courses we run. We will not starve or torture you in any way, but being able to develop the mindset to cope with small inconveniences and hardships is invaluable learning. Most courses are of short duration and you will have access to some food in addition to that you can gather yourself from the land.

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Will I have to eat live worms, raw fish or drink water from contaminated waterholes?

No, you are responsible for your own health and well being and for what you put into your body. We will not force you to eat anything, we will only show you what your options are in certain environments – what you decide to eat is entirely up to you. We do not encourage the consumption of certain foods raw as they may be unpalatable, harbour parasites or are inedible in an uncooked state. This course is not an opportunity to grandstand or be entertained by ‘television’ style dramatics. Our courses are based on common sense, reality and proven knowledge.

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Is water available at activity venues?

Yes, harvested rainwater is available at all times when on course venues and is provided by course staff. A good level of personal hydration is encouraged at all times during activities. Please be mindful of water usage on-sites, especially during the dry season. Use only what you need and do not waste water. On advanced survival courses you will be living off the land and procuring your own water, however you will be taught these skills and your safety will not be compromised during the activity.

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Are the courses difficult to undertake?

Most courses we offer are not overly arduous and provide challenge to participants by extending them beyond the limits of their normal comfort zone. We cater to a broad group of people and accordingly some individuals find the programs more challenging than others. Our instructors carefully monitor the condition and well being of each participant throughout activities and intervene if health or safety is in question.

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Some of your instructors served in the SAS, does this mean the course is going to be tough?

We cannot and would not wish to replicate the type of training that Special Forces soldiers undergo as part of their training. Our courses are designed to meet the requirements and expectations of a wide range of people from everyday occupations, not soldiers. Our philosophy concerns teaching people methods to engage with the natural environment and stay safe in it. We do not endorse any form of military or boot-camp style discipline being applied to course participants, nor are the activites designed as ‘survival of the toughest’ tests. Bushcraft, survival and tracking activities require a level of maturity, self-discipline, and an open mind, all of which are encouraged in an adult learning environment on our courses.

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What level of fitness do I need to undertake the courses?

A good level of personal fitness is encouraged prior to attending any of our courses. You do not need to be an athlete, we do not encourage the needless expenditure of energy. You will not be required to run in the bush, jump off cliffs, climb trees, swim rivers or anything of a similar nature. Survival is about energy conservation and keeping yourself intact. It is essentially a passive activity with both walking and sitting being the most frequent activities undertaken during your experience.

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Is there an age limit on courses?

Some age restrictions do apply at the School. All under 16 year olds must attend the course with a parent or equivalent adult. Parents are consequently responsible to ensure their children do not impact on the learning environment of the course. Parents are also responsible to decide if their children are likely to be able to cope with the adult learning environment of the courses. Most courses have young people attending with parents these days and they find it a great learning and bonding opportunity.

If you are 16 or older you may attend provided you have signed parental permission to come along. There is no upper limit on age and we encourage senior citizens to participate and share their often unique knowledge. We do require that all persons attending our courses be physically able bodied and sufficiently mature enough to accept and appreciate our curriculum.

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How many people will be on the course with me?

Course sizes are kept small to ensure that each participant receives the maximum benefit from the experience. Large group sizes have a bigger impact on the environments we work in, make more noise and require additional instructors. We have chosen to keep courses to a maximum of 10 to 12 people for these reasons.

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Is there a standard of behaviour expectation applicable to the activities?

Yes, all participants on courses and workshops are expected to maintain a high standard of respect, morality and integrity when attending our activities. We request that the needs and privacy of others be respected and that individuals consider and accept personal differences. People attending the courses come from a range of different backgrounds and this adds to the experience had by all.

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Are there private or restricted areas at the course venues?

Yes, the courses are usually conducted on private property and the property owners reside on the properties. Please be respectful of the homesteads and other buildings that are on the properties, do not enter or in any way interfere with private property or any farm equipment. Venue boundaries and restrictions will be explained in detail at the initial safety briefing when you arrive at the course venue.

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Are pets allowed at the course venues?

As most of the course venues are on private property, your own pets are not allowed on the sites. This is to ensure that landowner pets and livestock are protected, other activity participants are protected and that the natural diversity of native wildlife that inhabits the properties is not interfered with. Some properties do have dogs on them, where this is the case the dog will be restrained by the landowner during the course or will be introduced to the course and may interact with participants only under direct owner supervision.

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Is smoking allowed?

We encourage a smoke (cigarette) free environment but if you must smoke while on the course please be considerate of others, take all cigarette butts with you and observe any extant fire restrictions. Please do not litter at anytime or flick lit cigarette butts into vegetation, this is highly disrespectful and inherently dangerous at certain times of the year.

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What should I bring to courses/workshops?

For all activities please bring a notepad, pens and pencils warm clothing and rain gear. Usually a small daypack is the best baggage to utilise and include a water bottle, hat and sunscreen. Detailed equipment lists particular to course types are provided to participants at the time of registration.

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What clothing should I wear?

We recommend sturdy enclosed footwear such as hiking boots, long sleeve cotton shirts and long cotton drill pants be worn when participating in activities. A wide brim hat is recommended and sunglasses are optional. Leather gloves are also useful items in the bush and you are encouraged to bring and wear them to protect your hands. We do not recommend shorts or t-shirts be worn at any point on the course. Your clothing is your primary shelter from the environment and the elements. Clothing also affords significant protection from mosquitos and other biting insects.

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Can I bring a camera?

Yes, we encourage you to take photographs while on courses and activities. Please respect the privacy of your fellow course participants and ask before taking photographs of people. We do not allow the use of video cameras to protect the privacy of other participants and our instructors as well as Bush Lore Australia’s intellectual property.

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What if I am on personal medications?

You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire as part of the course registration process, this is for your safety only and your private information is fully protected. You will be required to advise staff of any personal medications you are taking and will be responsible to bring and administer you own medications during courses and activities.

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Is alcohol allowed to be consumed on the courses?

Alcohol and illegal drugs are not permitted to be brought to course venues, or consumed while participating in course activities at any time. This is a safety requirement that ensures the safety and enjoyment of all course participants and staff. Persons found with such items in their possession will be asked to leave the course without refund of course fees.

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Am I required to sign a liability indemnity waiver to be a course participant?

Many outdoor activities are inherently dangerous and are undertaken at your own risk. Some activities have the potential to result in death, disability, serious injury, and/or major financial loss. Bush Lore Australia or its staff does not accept any liability in regard to injury or damage sustained by any person participating in courses or activities. All participants are required to sign a liability indemnity waiver document to this effect prior to arriving at course/workshop venues. Our insurance provider mandates this and these documents will be provided to participants during the registration process.

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How is safety managed during activities run by Bush Lore Australia?

All Bush Lore activities are risk managed and a thorough risk management process is followed to ensure risks are identified and that appropriate control measures are put in place. A detailed safety management plan is in place for all activities, a safety brief is provided to all course/activity participants prior to commencement, there are senior first aid or above qualified staff in attendance at all times, medical kits, emergency communications and safety vehicles are maintained on site at all times. Participant safety is the primary concern of all Bush Lore instructors and staff and they will always balance the potential benefits of an activity with the safety risks posed and act accordingly.

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Are there dangerous native animals where the courses and activities are conducted?

Australia has few large dangerous animals that pose a serious risk to human beings in the bush. Be aware that possums, koalas, platypus, bandicoots, wallabies, dingoes and other native animals are present on the properties where activities are undertaken. These animals may look cute and cuddly but they remain wild creatures and will protect themselves if fearful.  At no time should any native animal be approached, petted, captured or interfered with. This is against the law and is unsafe in the extreme. Should you observe an animal in distress, please do not approach the animal, advise the nearest staff member immediately who will investigate and take action as necessary.

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Are there snakes in the areas where courses and activities are conducted?

Snakes and other reptiles are part of the natural ecology of the Australian bush. They are present and generally will seek to get as far away from you as they can. Course staff are trained in first aid, are snake and dangerous fauna handler trained and carry snake bandages. There are also medical kits provided in safety vehicles and at campsites in the event someone is bitten by a snake. Snake hazards will be thoroughly explained during activity safety briefs.

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Do your instructors know everything there is to know about bushcraft, survival and tracking?

No, while all of our instructors are very knowledgeable and experienced in their respective fields of expertise we do not subscribe to the attribution of ‘Guru’ status to anyone. In fact you will find our instructors to be very down to earth. The knowledge we seek to pass to you during our courses was not created or invented by us or anyone else of the current generation for that matter. We are passing on the ‘lore’ of our human ancestors of all races, in a pragmatic and common sense manner. This is in part to ensure that this ancient knowledge is not lost to future generations, but also to allow its wisdom to be enjoyed by today’s generation. All our instructors are continually seeking out new knowledge and you would be very surprised how much they learn from course participants each time an activity is run. We ask that you approach the courses with an open mind and contribute where possible. Remember the maxim – ‘Take what is useful and discard the rest’.

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Can custom designed course packages be arranged for specific groups and requirements?

Yes, please contact us to discuss your needs in this regard at any time.

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Can courses be run at other locations?

Yes, please contact the Bush Lore Australia team to discuss you needs and potential locations.

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How do I get further information about the programs offered by Bush Lore Australia?

We have a facebook page available at www.facebook.com/bushloreaustralia – a YouTube channel at ‘bushloreoz’ – and publish a quarterly eNewsletter all with the aim of providing you with the most information possible about what we do and how we do it. All of this is free and is regularly updated with current course dates, photos and video clips of activities we have undertaken.

Please feel free to contact us if you need further information on anything to do with our programs or activities.

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16 Comments

  1. toni
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 10:46:21

    Hi I’d like to enquire about the possibility of a group booking for homeschool parents and kids in July or August and if there is a location reasonably easy to for those without a car?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Rich Hungerford Rich Hungerford
      Feb 18, 2014 @ 17:39:13

      Hello Toni, thank you for your enquiry, we can certainly assist
      you with a group booking in July or August in fact we have just
      confirmed a similar booking for a homeschool group in May this year.
      If your group is able to access public transport than we can easily
      provide a pick up & drop off service to Landsborough Railway station
      which we currently utilise regularly for interstate and international
      visitors attending our courses. Please don’t hesitate to call or send a message on our contact page to discuss further if needing more information. We look forward t hearing from you, have a great day. – The Team at Bush Lore.

      Reply

  2. Elizabeth
    Jan 14, 2015 @ 14:30:30

    Hi, my son is 10 years old and has grown up in the bush/ on the land. He and his Dad would love to do one of your courses. Is there any way of them joining another group that includes younger ones. Thanks, Elizabeth.

    Reply

    • Rich Hungerford Rich Hungerford
      Feb 20, 2015 @ 10:44:49

      Hi Elizabeth, your husband and son are most welcome to join any of our courses as a team anytime. We encourage parent/child teams at every opportunity. They will work together and hang out together throughout the activity. Just email us and we can make arrangements for your men to get on a course.

      The Team at Bush Lore

      Reply

  3. CHAD SNYDER
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 07:46:48

    HELLO THERE,

    MY NAME IS CHAD AND I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING ONE OF YOUR INSTRUCTORS. I LIVE IN AUSTRALIA BUT AM FROM AMERICA. I AM A FORMER UNITED STATES MARINE WITH SURVIVAL TRAINING. MY MOBILE IS 0432385284

    THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR REPLY

    Reply

    • Rich Hungerford Rich Hungerford
      Feb 20, 2015 @ 10:48:18

      Hi Chad, thanks for contacting us we’ll drop you an email in response.

      The Team at Bush Lore

      Reply

  4. Natasha
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 16:54:36

    Hello
    I was wondering if you offer courses that enable me to become a qualified bush skills/survival instructor ?
    Thanks heaps
    Natasha

    Reply

    • Rich Hungerford Rich Hungerford
      Nov 04, 2015 @ 18:33:33

      Hi Natasha, thanks for contacting us. Bush Lore has only qualified one instructor since inception and that individual was with us continuously for over 6 months and attended numerous courses as well as being mentored throughout. So we do it, but on a very individual basis and the arrangement must be a fit for both us and the trainee. We do not support or agree with short vocational type qualification courses where survival, tracking and bushcraft skills are concerned as the subject area is simply to expansive. Rich has spent a lifetime acquiring the knowledge so it is not something easily passed on.

      Kind regards,

      The Team

      Reply

  5. Tom
    Jan 05, 2016 @ 23:54:25

    Hello,

    Is there any way that a 17 year old would be able to partake in one of the courses? Or would they need to be accompanied by an adult?

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Rich Hungerford Rich Hungerford
      Jan 21, 2016 @ 09:03:25

      Hello Tom, we can accept a 17 year old on the course without any problem we just require parental approval in the form of written consent. We have a form in our enrolment pack that lets you do that.

      Many thanks,

      Rebel

      Reply

  6. Ben
    Jan 26, 2016 @ 20:58:56

    Hi,

    Is there also any books you guys might recommend on Australian outback survival? Obviously it takes many year of practical experience, but is there also anything we can read on before doing a course which would help?

    Thank you
    Ben

    Reply

    • Rich Hungerford Rich Hungerford
      Mar 30, 2016 @ 11:54:52

      Hi Ben, there is a plethora of books available on the subject. Bob Cooper’s ‘Outback Survival’ is definitely one we’d recommend among many.

      The Team

      Reply

  7. Mandi
    May 25, 2016 @ 10:47:59

    Hi,
    I’m based in Victoria and interested in learning about natural ways of hunting, such as setting traps and making weapons from found materials. It is very difficult for me to come to QLD for a course. Are you aware of any local organisations which provide these types of training?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Rich Hungerford Rich Hungerford
      May 25, 2016 @ 16:14:47

      Hi Mandi, sorry but no other than Bob Cooper’s outfit who run courses occasionally in Victoria.

      Reply

  8. Ben Arrow
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 12:07:35

    Hi Rich,

    I am keen to attend your advanced courses in patrol, hostile environment, advanced survival etc. Would you accept a completion of Bob Coopers Outback Wilderness Survival course as a satisfactory prerequisite to attend your advanced courses? I am based in WA but would be keen on your more advanced courses next year.

    Cheers

    Ben

    Reply

    • Rich Hungerford Rich Hungerford
      Jul 08, 2016 @ 18:48:30

      Hi Ben, we are happy with Bob’s course as a pre-requisite.

      Rich

      Reply

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